World of Dances

World of Dances by KIKE CALVO

This post is the first in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations, that Kike captures about during his travels.

We are used to thinking of ballet as an indoor display of beauty and masterful technique. When I got an assignment for the National Ballet of Panama to create images to promote ballet among younger generations, I immediately wondered what would happen if I were to take ballet beyond the familiar confinement of the classic theater walls. What would happen if I were to take ballet to the streets of Panama. The advertising campaign, however, had other plans. Typical stage shootings were in mind.

SLK Ballet dancers Brittany Cavaco, Abigail Sartin and Sage Engle-Laird. Bryant Park. New York.

I sought full creative freedom and I accepted the assignment on one condition. I would be allowed to take the dancers to iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations. This was the start of my ongoing project across Latin America and beyond, which I have called World of Dances.

Panamanian dancer Manuelita Navarro. National Ballet of Panama.

I started exploring uncommon locations and eventually fled from the sleek Panamenian cityscape to the depths of the rainforest and ocean. Then, being a specialist in Latin America and taking advantage of my love of the local culture, I looked for the deeper relationships between the dancers and their own countries.

World of Dances by KIKE CALVO
SLK Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. Bryant Park. New York.

While doing this commercial photo assignment, I soon recognized that many elements of ballet had profound connections to my work. Ballerinas, like photographers and possibly most artists, spend a lifetime —> Read More

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